Being involved in a collision is never a pleasant experience. Ultimately, the driver is responsible for knowing what to do if they are involved in a collision, but there are steps you can take to make the process easier, quicker, and more efficient for everyone involved.
- First and foremost, you are required to stop. No matter whose fault it is, the extent of the damage, or how much time you have, you MUST stop. Someone may be injured and need your help. If you don’t stop, you can be convicted of a “hit and run” and could be severely punished.
- If necessary, call law enforcement and an ambulance. Remember, the emergency telephone number is 911. If someone is injured or unconscious, do not try to move them unless they are in immediate danger. Let an emergency responder assist. Calling law enforcement can help to protect yourself from some legal and financial problems down the road. Having a police report on file can also help later if a liability claim is filed.
- If no one is injured, move your vehicle out of the traffic lane. This will help keep traffic moving and assist in avoiding another collision with an oncoming vehicle that may not see you.
- Show your driver’s license, vehicle registration card, evidence of financial responsibility (insurance), and current address to the other driver(s) or person(s) involved in the collision. Get the license plate number, name, address, driver license number, and insurance information for all persons involved, as well as those of any witnesses who come forward.
- You may also want to take pictures of the location, people involved, and damaged vehicles.
- Once you have exchanged all pertinent information with the other party, you can leave the scene of the collision if it is safe to drive your vehicle. If your vehicle has become inoperable, you will need to call a tow truck to remove your vehicle.
- Ultimately, the most important thing to remember if you are involved in a crash is to remain calm. Do not let your emotions and feelings take over. Losing your temper could cause additional problems. Additionally, don’t feel pressured into admitting fault or giving an opinion about the cause of the collision. In the end, it is up to the insurance companies to determine fault.